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The following address was delivered by Dr. David Kinley, 
Vice-President of the University of Illinois, upon the occa- 
sion of the War Conference called at the University hy the 
State Council of Defense, the Corn Growers' and Stockmen's 
Convention, and the College of Agriculture, for the purpose of 
discussing the relations of the farmer to the war and arrang- 
ing a program of production to he recommended to the state. 

January 31, 1918 



Three times since western civilization was established has 
it been in danger of overthrow and its light in danger of being 
blotted out under the attacks of more barbaric social orders. 
The first was by the invasion of the Huns who, in the fourth 
century after Christ, appeared on the eastern borders of 
Europe and drove the inhabitants in thousands across the 
Danube. Pushing westwards they later crossed the Rhine. All 
that had been accomplished by Roman civilization in the west 
was endangered ; but, in the providence of God, the embattled 
armies of the Goths and Romans combined, on the plains of 
Chalons in France, overthrew the Hunnish army of 700,000 and 
turned back the deluge of barbarism. The second great crisis in 
the life of that civilization of which we are the heirs occurred 
when the Saracens, after a wonderful career of victory, estab- 
lished the banner of Mohammedanism through all Western 
Asia and Northern Africa and finally carried it across the 
Straits of Gibraltar with the avowed purpose that the Cres- 
cent which they bore was to float over a Universal Empire 
built upon the ruins of Christendom. "The dream of Mithri- 
dates and of Caesar was to be realized in the actual achieve- 
ments of the lieutenants of the Caliphs. The Saracen chief 
now upon the soil of Gaul was to subjugate the Franks and 
their confederates, cross the Rhine and crush the tribes beyond 
that stream, and then follow down the course of the Danube 
to its mouth. Upon the shores of the Hellespont the bands 
of the Faithful were to join hands and together give thanks 
to Allah for the conquest of the World." But in 732 A. D. the 
heirs of the civilization of the Roman Empire, the defenders 
of progress and of Christianity, met the Moslems on the battle- 
field of Tours and, after a seven days' terrific conflict, delivered 
the civilization of Europe from a danger which had not threat- 
ened it since the invasion of Attila and his Huns. 

Today a plan of conquest for the domination of Europe, as 
the first step towards the domination of the world, very similar 
to that of the Saracens, has endangered once more the progress 
of centuries of civilization. The ultimate aim of the German 
Empire in the present war is no less the conquest of the world 
than was the ultimate aim of the Saracens. In the intervals 
between these great crises men and nations have fought for 
various causes. They have warred for creeds, for commerce, 
for land, for prestige, and for no reason at all except the bid- 
ding of princes and kings; but never before in the history of 
the modern world has any nation, any people, any govern- 
ment, deliberately set about the destruction of their fellow 
peoples, fellow nations, fellow governments, for the purpose 
of crushing out their separate national existences, on the 
theory that all people but themselves were inferior races de- 
serving only extinction or complete subordination. That this is 
the purpose and spirit of the German nation as avowed by its 
Government and its leaders in literature, education and public 
life, we find abundant evidence from their own testimony, to 
which I shall shortly advert. But before doing so it will help 
us to inquire somewhat into the character and growth of a 
government which, in the twentieth century, could precipitate 
upon the world so great a danger and avow itself an agent of 
Almighty God to destroy all that other peoples have accom- 
plished and other civilizations have achieved. 

For centuries the land that is now Germany had been torn 
asunder by constant dissensions and wars among the princes 
and small groups of people which formed the various duchies 
and kingdoms that made up the so-called Holy Roman Empire 
after imperial Rome had lost her grip upon the rest of Europe. 
Through generations there existed a longing among these 
peoples, frequently expressed in their literature, for a combi- 
nation or union into one great country. The unity of Germany 
was a dream for the realization of which every patriotic Ger- 
man worked and prayed. But rivalries and disputes, due to 
one cause and another, delayed the realization of the dream 
until the middle of the 19th century. For a hundred years or 
more the military power of Prussia, the most powerful of the 

separate German states, had been growing and it was with 
this as a tool that the project was finally accomplished. After 
Bismarck became prime minister of Prussia in 1862 a definite 
policy of militarizing the whole Prussian nation was adopted 
and thereby an army created which, when the time came, 
would be effective for the purposes of Bismarck and his mas- 
ter, King William. Cynical and unscrupulous, recognizing 
no law nor right of God or man that stood in the way of his 
purposes, using cajolery, treachery or force as suited the occa- 
sion, Bismarck, first appealing to the ambitions of Austria, 
made war on Denmark and took from her the provinces of 
Schleswig-Holstein which Germany has retained ever since. 
Then he quarrelled with Austria over the spoils, made war 
upon his late ally, and inflicted upon her a humiliating defeat 
which deprived her of all influence over the German states 
and left Prussia their acknowledged leader. Four years later, 
in 1870, he struck at France and took from her the two prov- 
inces of Alsace and Lorraine, together with an indemnity of 
about one billion dollars with v/hich to strengthen and improve 
the German military machine. Aside from aversion to the 
methods, or some of the methods, employed by Bismarck to 
accomplish his purposes, the civilized world at large sympa- 
thized with the German people in their desire for national 
unity. No one appreciated the deep laid plan df the master- 
hand of blood and iron and his coadjutors whereby these 
preliminary conquests and this accomplished national unity 
were to be made but stepping-stones to larger conquests and 
wider domination. 

The thirty years which succeeded the Franco-Prussian war 
were utilized to develop the military system which made Ger- 
many the foremost military power in the world. Meantime, 
the Government of the Empire set about devising conditions 
of social and economic life which would remove internal agita- 
tion and develop the Empire industrially and commercially. 
The progress of Germany became the wonder of the world. 
In industry and trade, in literature and education, in military 
growth and civil administration she assumed to take the place 
of leadership and was acknowledged as leader not only in these 

matters, not only among the peoples of Europe, who feared 
to cross her will, but by thousands of our own people who, 
too busy to look below the surface, or too shallow in their 
appreciation of German political philosophy and its goal, 
preached and taught for years the doctrines of German supe- 
riority and German efficiency. 

American students and American university professors 
went for higher education to Germany, and without realizing 
the trend of the philosophical ideas which underlay the educa- 
tion they received, came back in scores and hundreds to spread 
the story of German efficiency and intellectual progress. Some 
of them were slavish followers of the doctrines of their teach- 
ers, and have been unable ever to rid themselves of the impe- 
rialistic point of view which they acquired at these German 
seats of learning. They have unconsciously spread doctrines 
that are pernicious in a democracy. They have urged the 
adoption of German methods, standards and plans, apparently 
without any consciousness of the fact that these methods and 
plans were adopted in Germany for the sake of furthering 
certain purposes which have no place in the life of a demo- 
cratic people. They have become in many cases apologists 
for things German, even some of the worst things that have 
disgraced humanity in the present war. They have become 
centers of influence for the promotion of German Kultur 
in university classrooms, in the school room and in the press. 
They have gone so far in some cases as to be, whether pur- 
posely or not, agents of the propaganda of German Kultur. 
Some of them have made themselves ridiculous by publishing 
works trying to establish the doctrine that everything of im- 
portance in the United States had a German origin ; that some 
of the greatest writers in English literature and philosophy 
were indebted exclusively to Germans for their inspiration and 
their principal doctrines ; that, in short, the roots of all that is 
good among the English-speaking peoples, and indeed, among 
others, lead back to German sources. 

The doctrine of efficiency has been much preached of late 
years, and German example in this respect has been held up 


for the world to follow. We must remember, however, that 
efficiency, after all, is a relative matter. Efficiency is desirable 
only if its purpose is approvable. Efficiency, or perfection in 
the performance of a given act, is worth while only if the act 
is worth while. To make a thief efficient is not a good thing. 
To be an efficient liar, or robber, or murderer is not a good 
thing. Now it is true that in industry and trade, in the art 
of war and the machinery of education, as well as in other 
lines, the German people in the past two generations have 
attained, in some respects, a greater perfection or efficiency 
than most of the rest of the world. They have done so, how- 
ever, because they have been bending all their energies for a 
definite specific purpose: preparation for war. Any people 
could become efficient if they devoted themselves to a par- 
ticular end for a long enough time. The rest of the world has 
thought other things better worth while. Moreover, this effi- 
ciency about which we talk so much has proven, after all, a 
broken reed. In less than four years since the outbreak of the 
war the nations which the German Government regarded as pe- 
culiarly inefficient in military matters have beaten Germany at 
her own game. In the supply of munitions, in the command 
of the air, in the command of the sea, in the art of trench mak- 
ing and keeping, in the number and power of great guns, in 
the use of that devil's device, poisonous gas, and in nearly 
every other respect, the military technique of the Germans 
has been attained and surpassed by the French and British. In 
the so-called chemical industries, of which it was supposed 
that Germany had an unconquerable monopoly, especially in 
such matters as the manufacture of dyes and certain kinds of 
glass, both the British and we have already put ourselves in 
a position to supply our ov/n wants. In other words, we have 
not done these things hitherto, because we had other things 
of more importance to do. As soon as it was necessary for 
us to turn our attention to these we did them. There is now 
no dye of importance formerly imported from Germany, that 
we are not making. We have the secrets of more kinds of 
optical glass than Germany ever made. The same is true in 
other lines. The hollowness of the whole organization could 

not have been better shown than by the rapidity with which 
the rest of the world has adapted itself to the conditions forced 
upon it by this long-conceived and slowly-worked-out plan for 
military ascendency. 

For education, art, religion, industry, trade, philosophy, 
public administration, all have been directed to the attainment 
of that end — the perfection of military power. German mili- 
tary methods became the standard for the armies of other na- 
tions. The world watched and did not understand that the 
awful engine of war was constructed for the purpose of terror- 
izing and dominating the world. Few saw clearly and fewer 
still believed. But it is evident now that it was all part of a 
deliberate plan of preparation for a war which it was believed 
would establish German supremacy over a beaten, mutilated, 
murdered world. Briefly put, the present war was begun by 
the German Government in order to effectuate a third in a 
series of steps planned since the days of Bismarck. The first 
was the accomplishment of German unity ; the second the cre- 
ation of the strongest military power in Europe ; the third, the 
attainment of a military position sufficiently strong to dominate 
the world. Men ask, and History will ask, what claims, what 
defense, does Germany offer in explanation of such a crime. 

Some German public men and writers claim that they are 
engaged in a war of defense, and that the responsibility for the 
present world catastrophe does not rest on them. It is hardly 
worth while, in view of all the testimony and evidence that 
have been published on this matter, to discuss this now. The 
claim was not advanced until the advance of the German army 
was checked. It may be said, however, that there are few in- 
cidents in history for which the responsibility can be fixed as 
definitely as can the responsibility for beginning this war. 
Following Bismarck's policy, the German Government had in 
its diplomacy always tried to shape events so that it would 
seem not to be the aggressor. This was the case with Den- 
mark in 1862. It was the case with Austria in 1866. It was 
the case with France in 1870, Bismarck even going so far as 
to falsify a telegram in order to make his position more plau- 
sible. So in the present case. Germany accepted the murder 


of the Austrian Archduke as the opportunity for her to strike 
at her neighbors and enlarge her power. We know now on 
German testimony that a conference was held as early as July 
5, 1914, at which it was decided that there would be war. We 
know now as well as we know anything, that the German Gov- 
ernment knew and approved beforehand the Austrian ultima- 
tum to Serbia. Germany knew that Russia was unprepared for 
war, and that France was not fully prepared. She knew that 
Great Britain was wholly unprepared. That she knew these 
things we know from the testimony of her own statesmen. 
The very diplomatic statements made to excuse their conduct 
in the early days of the war show that they felt that they must 
strike both Russia and France because Germany was ready 
and they were not. She herself, as somebody has remarked, 
was ready to the last cannon, the last reservist, and the last 
railroad car. In the great mass of diplomatic correspondence 
between the middle of July and the second of August, 1914, 
there is not a telegram or a communication of any kind to show 
that Germany made the slightest effort to secure delay by 
Austria. In short, Germany not only planned the war but 
seized the opportune time and planned the stroke. 

Some Americans apologizing, before we entered the war, 
for Germany's action, have assumed to take the high intellec- 
tual ground that the great conflict, historically speaking, was 
inevitable ; that it is the inevitable result of the clashing inter- 
ests of rival peoples. True, the conflict was in a sense inev- 
itable. When a criminal breaks into a man's house at night 
and is discovered, a conflict is inevitable. When a band of 
pirates or robbers undertakes to interfere with the livelihood 
and orderly, peaceable living of honest men, a conflict is inev- 
itable. If, therefore, by this statement it is intended to say 
that a conflict was inevitable because a group of people in one 
part of the world were wrongfully planning to attack another 
group, the statement is correct. If, however, it is intended to 
mean, as undoubtedly its sponsors have wished it to mean, that 
the clashing "interests" of the aggressor were morally justifi- 
able, or that the aggressors were unconscious of the iniquity of 
their claims, or that the so-called inevitableness of the conflict 


removes responsibility for it from the shoulders of those who 
plotted it and started it, the statement is neither correct nor 
worthy of argument by honest minded men. A conflict has 
been inevitable whenever in the history of the world brigands, 
robbers or wild beasts have attacked the peaceful settlements 
and homes of men who were trying to live their own lives in 
their own way. As long as courage remains, conflicts under 
such circumstances will be inevitable. But there is no room 
in the code of men of honor for an excuse or apology of this 
kind set up as a defense of the most outrageous violation of the 
laws of humanity, and the most tremendous transgression of 
the principles of morality and of national conduct that the 
world has ever seen. 

One argument to justify themselves, advanced by the pres- 
ent leaders of German thought, is that might makes right ; that 
therefore the German nation may possess itself of the posses- 
sions of the weaker; and that the moral law which obtains 
among individuals does not hold as between states, which are, 
so to speak, beings of a different order of morality. We need 
not go far to find evidence of the truth of this statement from 
the mouths of the Germans themselves. For example, we are 
told by the author of Gross-Deutschland, published in 1911, 
that: "in the good old times it happened that a strong people 
thrust a weak one out of its ancestral abode by wars of exter- 
mination. Today everything goes on peaceably on this 
wretched earth, and it is those who have profited who are for 
peace. The little peoples and the remnants of a people have 
invented a new word — that is international law. In reality it 
is nothing else than their reckoning on our good-natured stu- 
pidity Room ! they must make room ! Since we are 

the stronger the choice will not be difficult." 

Again we are told, in a volume published in 1895, that: 

"Germans alone will govern They alone will exercise 

political rights; however, they will condescend so far as to 
delegate inferior tasks to foreign subjects who live among 
them." Still again, we are told : "Let no man say every peo- 
ple has a right to its existence, its speech, etc. With this 
saying in one's mouth one can easily appear civilized, but only 


so long as the respective peoples remain separated from one 
another and do not stand in the way of a mightier one." The 
writer of this fine piece of ethics goes on to say that if people 
are not Germanic, and they are essentially aliens to Germanic 
culture, the only question is : Are they in our way? "If they 
are," he says, "to spare them would be folly." 

We are told that "between states regarded as intelligent 
beings disputes can be settled only by force." This idea was 
advanced by Lasson as early as 1868. He was one of the pro- 
fessors of philosophy at the University of Berlin, under whom, 
doubtless, many American students have sat. He tells us, too, 
in the same volume, that the state can realize itself only by the 
destruction of other states, which, logically, can be brought 
about only by violence. 

Of course, in this conflict of states, the German is always 
the best. Professor Haeckel, whose name was once honored 
throughout the world, but who has joined the band of degraded 
intellectuals who have thrown morality, common sense and 
honesty to the winds, tells us that "One single, highly culti- 
vated, German warrior of those who are, alas, falling in thou- 
sands, represents a higher intellectual and moral life value 
than hundreds of the raw children of nature whom England, 
France, Russia and Italy oppose to them." The same ethics, 
or lack of ethics, is shown in the remark of Karl Kuhn, of 
Charlottenburg, who in philosophical ecstacy exclaims : "Must 
kultur rear its domes over mountains of corpses, oceans of 

tears and the death rattle of the conquered? Yes ; it must 

The might of the conqueror is the highest law before which 
the conquered must bow." 

The state, we are told, need pay no attention to the moral 
law. As long ago as 1906 the German doctrine was expounded 
by various writers from whom I quote, as the right of might. 
"By right of war the right of strange races to migrate into 
Germanic settlements will be taken away. By right of war the 
non-Germanic [population] in America and Great Australia 

must be settled in Africa By right of war we can send 

back the useless South American romance peoples and the 
half-breeds to North Africa." 


Again, we are told that "There [in Livonia and Kurland] 
no other course is open to us but to keep the subject race in as 
unciviHzed a condition as possible, and thus prevent them from 
becoming a danger to the handful of their conquerors." 

In short, the inferior races, and all races are inferior to the 
German, are to be excluded from political life. Their individ- 
uality, their political, their lingual and their moral existence is 
to be crushed. 

At times they have been out-spoken and frank concerning 
their designs on other countries. Twenty years ago, in 1897, 
one writer, Bley, told his compatriots : "You cannot talk and 
sing about an indefensible watch on the Rhine as long as the 
Dutch and the Swiss do not sing the same tune." 

"As for Belgium and Holland," Frymann told us in 1911,^ 
"it must be clear to both that this [coming] war will deter- 
mine their future. As matters in Europe have come to a head 
one may freely avow that such little states have lost their right 
to exist. For only that state can make a claim to indepen- 
dence which can make it good, sword in hand." And with 
shame be it said, there are Americans who have endorsed this 
doctrine by writing essays to prove that Belgium is economi- 
cally only an appanage of Germany and should be absorbed. 

In 1901 we were told by another German that "Holland 
must eventually be amalgamated with Germany, as both coun- 
tries stand and fall together; the same language, ideals and 

ideas distinguish both peoples, who must be one But 

Germany is in the position to dictate terms and to force Hol- 
land economically to seek union and absorption." Still again, 
a distinguished German economist, speaking of Belgium, tells 
the world that the "destinies of the immortal great nations 
stand so high that they cannot but have the right, in case of 
need, to strike every existence that cannot defend themselves, 
but support themselves shamelessly upon the rivalries of the 

Under the policy of Bismarck, as I have said, German na- 
tional unity v/as achieved through the establishment of the 
Empire. After that his plan was to consolidate the various 
German states, promote their unity of interests and ideals, and 


to live on good terms with his neighbors. Germany was sat- 
isfied with the accompHshment of her unity, and Bismarck's 
influence was largely and strongly thrown against extra-terri- 
torial ambitions. But when the present Emperor came to the 
throne and forced Bismarck's retirement, a change gradually 
came over the mind of the German nation. As one writer, 
Frymann, put it some years ago: "Since Bismarck retired 
there has been a complete change of public opinion. It is not 
longer proper to say Germany is satisfied. Our historical de- 
velopment and our economic needs show that we are once 
more hungry for territory, and this situation compels Germany 
to follow paths unforeseen by Bismarck." 

The ambition of the nation became the domination of Eu- 
rope, on the ground that they needed more land for their grow- 
ing population. They proceeded to argue that the land of the 
world was practically all occupied. Everywhere we go, they 
tell us, we find that the Englishman has been before us ; and, 
they added, we know that America has begun the same land- 
grabbing policy, by your seizure of the Philippines, your tute- 
lage of Cuba and Central America. Therefore, they concluded, 
we must tear the land from the possession of those who have it. 
A simple illustration will make clear the ethics of this wonder- 
ful proposition. In this country, since the adoption of the Con- 
stitution until now, there has been abundance of land open 
to settlement on easy terms, or for nothing. Hundreds of 
thousands of enterprising citizens have gone in and occupied 
the land, so that now our population reaches in an unbroken 
stretch from ocean to ocean. Now there are no more oppor- 
tunities. The present generation and the next and the next, 
and all succeeding generations, will be born only to find the 
land all occupied. They want it, however, as ardently as you 
wanted, or as your fathers or grandfathers wanted it, when 
they took up the government patent for the acres that now are 
yours. What shall we think of a proposition that we who 
have come later and find the land all occupied, shall now drive 
you off because we, forsooth, in our opinion, can make a better 
use of it? Yet this precisely is the proposition of the German 


It became, then, an accepted doctrine of German foreign 
policy, that neighboring small countries, Belgium, Denmark, 
Holland and Switzerland should become a part of the German 
Empire. Their lands were to be seized, whether the people 
were willing or not. In addition, northern France was to be 
taken so as to give the German Empire a sea line running from 
Havre to the east end of Prussia. This perhaps was the first 
form that their thoughts took, — an empire running therefore 
from the western boundary of Russia south to Vienna and 
west to the Atlantic ocean. 

For one reason or another obstacles which they could not 
or dared not try to surmount at the time prevented the early 
fulfillment of this plan. But one of the remarkable features of 
German policy is its elasticity. It was possible to accomplish 
the purpose of domination in some other way. If an empire 
cannot be established reaching from the Gulf of Riga to the 
Bay of Biscay, one running from the North Sea to the Persian 
Gulf, as the world has recently become aware, will serve the 
purpose as well, — perhaps better! "The territory open to 
future German expansion," Professor Hasse tells us, "must 
extend from the North Sea to the Baltic and the Persian Gulf, 
absorbing the Netherlands, Luxemburg, Switzerland, the 
whole basin of the Danube, the Balkan Peninsula and Asia 
Minor." So now the phrase "from the North Sea to the Per- 
sian Gulf" has become the rallying cry of the Pan-Germans. 

But one thing was only a stepping-stone to another. If, in 
the first murderous onrush of her army in 1914, Germany had 
succeeded in overrunning all of Belgium, and seizing the north- 
ern part of France as far as Havre, or even Dieppe, she would 
have been content for a time. For such an increase in terri- 
tory, if she could keep it, would give her the means for 
strengthening her army and navy for the next onslaught. For 
rest assured, there is to be a next onslaught, as I will 
show in another place, unless the world succeeds in destroying 
German military autocracy. This territory would have served 
as a stepping-stone for an aggression to realize the dream of an 
empire to the Persian Gulf, and that in turn would have laid 
the foundation for a new grip, reaching into Asia, for the con- 


trol of India and China. These are avowed purposes, as may 
be learned from the works of many German writers. Failing 
for the present to accomplish the seizure of the Atlantic lit- 
toral from Antwerp west ; check-mated in the dream of "Berlin 
to Bagdad" ; thrown out of the colonial empire which he pos- 
sessed ; the German militarist now turns for enlargment of the 
Empire by the seizure of Poland and of Russia territory as far 
as the Gulf of Riga. It makes little difference where the foot- 
hold is, so long as it is a larger foothold that will enable him 
to prepare himself to deliver his next blow with mightier force. 
"Land, more land," as the cry is expressed by Maximilian 
Harden, who is now so frequently quoted by pacifist poltroons 
among our own countrymen who are seeking peace at the ex- 
pense of principle. Harden was one of the loudest shriekers 
for blood at the beginning of the war, when prospects seemed 
favorable to complete German success. Lately he has been 
advocating what he calls a moderate policy, holding up to his 
country the moderation of President Wilson and Lloyd- 
George. Now that he sees that the purposes which he sup- 
ported cannot be attained he is whining for the best mode of 

But the establishment of this European empire was for the 
purpose of furnishing another stepping-stone on which to 
stand and dictate to the world. "Germany," we are told by 
Pastor Lehmann, "is the center of God's plans for the world." 
"Germany," another tells us, "as the preponderant power in a 
Great-German league will with this war attain world suprem- 
acy." And still again, Nietzsche, writing thirty-three years 
ago, tells us that "the time for petty politics is past, the next 
century will bring the struggle for the dominion of the world." 
It was in keeping with this purpose and plan that the Kaiser 
declared some years ago to his people: "Our future lies on 
the sea"; that he and his associates in government planned a 
great colonial empire. As another German professor tells us, 
writing some years ago : "If we do not soon acquire new ter- 
ritory a frightful catastrophe is inevitable. It signifies little 
whether it be in Brazil, in Siberia, in Anatolia, or in South 
Africa." Anywhere in the world they were ready to seize the 


best. They recognized no rights on the part of the existing 
population. The fact that Germany wanted land gave her a 
moral right to take it at the expense of the property and lives 
of its present occupants, or of anybody else. "Let us," says 
Karl Wagner, "let us bravely organize great forced migrations 

of the inferior peoples The inefficient must be hemmed 

in and at last driven into reserves where they have no room to 

grow and where, discouraged and rendered indifferent 

to the future by the spectacle of the superior energy of their 
conquerors, they may crawl slowly towards the peaceful death 
of weary and hopeless senility." 

But the dough must be leavened before it can be baked. 
Therefore Germans must be scattered over the world and 
wherever possible brought together into localities which will 
develop a German spirit and German point of view, and secure 
a dominating influence on the public opinion and politics of the 
country. Later on these groups will serve admirably as cen- 
ters around which to organize new colonies under the German 

These, then, are the main outlines of the plan of the Ger- 
man autocracy to bring the world into subjection. Can any 
man understand this plan and fail to see that its attainment 
would strike at the roots of liberty, free government and de- 
mocracy everywhere? The insidious influence and power of 
autocracy would be established in a multitude of centers scat- 
tered over the globe, like the suckers on the tentacles of a 
mighty devilfish, whose body rested on and drew its suste- 
nance and strength from the main part of the autocratic em- 
pire. Sensitive to every touch, its body would react to throw 
its strength wherever there was an opportunity to attach a 
tentacle, or a sucker on a tentacle, to a new object that it could 
absorb, and whose life it could destroy. There would be no 
safety for a freedom-loving people anywhere on the globe, be- 
cause these tentacles of influence and power would be contin- 
ually reaching out and constantly growing. No nation, not 
even our own, would have been able to stand up alone with any 
assurance of ultimate success against such a power. At any 
rate, ultimate success by us in such a struggle, when it came, 


would have had to be attained at a cost of life, form of govern- 
ment, and all that democracies hold dear, which would have 
made men pause and ask whether the struggle were worth 

Laying down as their fundamental and unchallengeable 
premise that what the Germans want is right, and that since 
they wish to expand, to seize other people's land and dominate 
the world, they, as the chosen people of Almighty God, have 
a right to do it; that no such word as "wrong" can be recog- 
nized in their vocabulary ; the defendants of the monstrous pro- 
gram of German autocracy make certain claims in their own 
defense and certain complaints which we will proceed briefly 
to examine. 

Being very scientific, by a perversion of reasoning, they ar- 
gue that what they call the biological law of life, the right of 
the fittest to survive, confers upon the strong the right to ex- 
tirpate the weak. They do not ask who is fittest to survive. 
They beg the question by taking it for granted that the only 
being fit to survive is the one endowed with brute strength. 
They then confuse the exertion of brute force with moral right. 
In short, in this matter they have followed the custom which 
runs through all German political and philosophical as well as 
psychological arguments. They first have made up their 
minds what they want to establish, and then they interpret the 
data which they have at hand in such a way as to sustain their 
point. I have read a good deal of German political and eco- 
nomic literature in the past fifteen years, and have been im- 
pressed every time with this fact. They prove what they want 
to prove, and show either a real indifference to the facts, or a 
complete failure to realize that they are not on their side. 

Concerning the German claim of their right to expand, it 
may be said, in reply, that no country has ever objected to 
receiving desirable members of the fatherland who in years 
past have left her shores. No better citizens of our own coun- 
try have come from any part of the world than those of Ger- 
man stock. It would have been a great thing for German 
moral and educational influence to spread over the civilized 
world through the impress of the character and training of her 


sons and daughters. But this was not enough to satisfy the 
autocratic government of the Empire. Wherever a German 
goes he must still remain a German, and retain his connections 
with the home government! The flag must be established 
and the language spoken wherever Germans go! The right 
to expansion in this sense is, of course, a right that the world 
cannot grant. 

With reference to the German claim that they are waging 
a war of defense and not of conquest, it would be laughable if 
it were not tragic, to see how they have shifted their ground. 
The utterances of every spokesman of the Teutonic Empire at 
the outbreak of the war, the literature of Germany for more 
than a generation, her state of preparedness to wage war, and 
her utter neglect to attempt to stay the beginning of war, are 
all evidence that she entered the conflict with a desire, and pur- 
pose, and intention, for conquest. To be sure, when she found 
herself hemmed in and unable to advance further, especially 
on the western front and, indeed, on the eastern, until the Rus- 
sian collapse, then we find a change of tone. Through the 
utterances of her spokesmen now there runs the note of that 
whine which characterizes them in defeat. Some people "can- 
not stand the gaff." They lack the spirit of sport. 

Germany claims, as she has claimed for a generation, that 
she has been forced to become a military state, to develop the 
strongest army in the world in self-defense. "On the one 
side," she says, "we are threatened with the eruption of the 
barbarian hordes of Russia ; while on the other hostile peoples 
hem us in. We must always be in a position to defend our- 
selves." If Germany had developed her military strength only 
far enough to enable her to repel attacks, the world might take 
this view and sympathize with this argument, but she went 
far beyond this. Of the danger of the Russian bogey and 
French revenge, I shall speak later. 

Again, Germany declares that one nation after another has 
blocked her program of expansion, has kept her from finding 
her "place in the sun." This tune has been harped on very 
strongly, especially with reference to Great Britain, largely for 
consumption in this country. We have been told with an iter- 


ation that has become tiresome, that Great Britain was trying 
to prevent German commercial expansion, and throttle German 
trade. There is not a scrap of proof in diplomatic correspon- 
dence or political history since Germany became an empire 
that lays a sufficient warrant for such a statement. Great 
Britain is and has been a free-trade nation. Her ports have 
been open to the ships of all the world on the same terms as 
to her own. The ports of her independent colonies have been 
open to the ships of all the world, including those of the 
mother-country, on the same terms. All that the Germans 
had to do was to do the service better and cheaper than the 
British, and they could have the carrying trade of Canada, Aus- 
tralia or Great Britain herself. The only possible ground for 
taking any other view is that certain lines of British ships re- 
ceived high pay, which some called subsidies, in return for 
mail service, in order that the government might be at liberty 
to take them over as cruisers in event of war. But these so- 
called subsidies were for a few passenger lines traveling cer- 
tain routes, and had no reference to the great mass of British 
shipping. German steamship companies had docks in various 
parts of the British Empire, including India, as well as in the 
British Isles themselves. When, however, the German com- 
plainants of alleged British monopoly forgot themselves, as 
they did once in a while, they told the world that Germany was 
driving British commerce from the seas ; that the world over 
German trade was driving out British. Now both statements 
could not be true. That is, it could not be true that Great 
Britain was throttling German commercial expansion and at 
the same time that German commerce was driving out British 
all over the world. The truth is that neither statement was 
correct. British trade during the years when her foreign crit- 
ics and some of her own renegade people called her a decaying 
nation, was advancing by leaps and bounds, as statistics will 
show. So was that of Germany. And no one welcomed the 
German expansion more frankly and cheerfully than did the 
statesmen of Great Britain. When Germany was beginning 
her colonial program in 1884, Mr. Gladstone said: "If Ger- 
many is to become a colonizing power all I can say is God 


speed her." And Mr. Chamberlain added: "If foreign na- 
tions are determined to pursue distant colonial enterprises we 
have no right to prevent them." In 1911 Sir Edward Grey 
said the same thing in almost the same words. Similar state- 
ments are on record from authoritative British statesmen and 
publicists with reference to German commerce. 

No evidence has ever been produced to show that any one 
or all of these countries had any designs upon the peaceful de- 
velopment of the German Empire. The Entente Alliance be- 
tween Great Britain, France and Russia was, on the other 
hand, a measure entered into as a protection against threatened 
German aggression. The policy of Germany was to sow dis- 
sension among the other states of Europe, keeping them apart 
while she herself maintained, through the Triple Alliance, a 
solid barrier of force separating eastern Europe from western. 

In order to create prejudice in her favor, German writers 
have dwelt strongly upon the bogey of navalism, and when 
militarism has been criticised have immediately brought out 
this jack-in-the-box to make an impression. Unthinking or 
prejudiced individuals among ourselves, not fully acquainted 
with the facts, have been caught by the phrase. The world 
has objected to German militarism in the sense that it was a 
mighty military organization, created for the purposes of ag- 
gression, and in ways that made its use for aggression not only 
possible but almost certain. No such statement can be made 
of the alleged British navalism. Search the history of the past 
hundred years and you will find that the preponderant British 
navy has been used not for the subjugation of alien peoples and 
the imposition of foreign law upon unwilling subjects, but has 
been engaged in suppressing piracy, in advancing the interests 
of science, and in no case has been an aggressor. Nor can a 
great naval power dominate in the same sense that a great 
military power can do so. For it has been proven over and 
over again, the latest instance being the Gallipoli campaign, 
that navies cannot overcome land defenses and military power. 
But the country which, with a strong navy, backed by a mighty 
army, is able to effect a landing, can then use its military 
strength for subjugation. The term "freedom of the seas" 


has been used to conjure with, and to attack British policy. 
But the seas have been open and free, the British navy to the 
contrary, to the ships of every nation for more than a hundred 
years. Indeed, they have been open because of the British 
navy. I have been often puzzled to understand just what the 
Germans meant by the freedom of the seas. Lately, however, 
I have run across the explanation. Here it is as recently given 
in one of our newspapers : "In March, 1917, Count Reventlow 
explained the phrase at a great meeting in the Berlin Phil- 
harmonic Hall. On the authority of the Naval and Military 
Record of England this bloodthirsty person thus put himself 
on record : 'What does Germany understand by the freedom 
of the seas? Of course we do not mean by it the free use of 
the seas, which is the common privilege of all nations in time 
of peace, or the right to the open highways of international 
trade. That sort of freedom of the seas we had before the war. 
What we understand today by this doctrine,' he continued, 'is 
that Germany should possess such maritime territories and 
such naval bases that at the outbreak of war we should be able 
with our navy reasonably ready, to guarantee ourselves the 
command of the seas. We want such a jumping-off place for 
our navy as would give us a fair chance of dominating the seas 
and of being free on the seas during a war.' " 

Again, the Germans have tried to create a prejudice against 
Great Britain by harping upon the mightiness of the British 
Empire. They have found it, in their writings and speeches, 
rotten and ready to fall apart — because that was what they 
wanted. It was amusing to me when I was in Germany to see 
the assurance with which the Germans talked of misrule of 
Great Britain in her colonies, and of the certainty with which 
these colonies would desert her in her hour of trial. Their 
conversation and their writings showed that they knew noth- 
ing at all about the real facts of the situation. They had lis- 
tened, as even some in our neighborhood here had listened and 
taken at one hundred per cent value, the diatribes of a few dis- 
contented foreigners. The answer to the criticism that the 
British Empire should be broken up because it was a tyranny 
has been found in the glorious response of the Empire in this 
war. 21 

As I have already said, another claim of the Germans in de- 
fense of their program of expansion was that Russia was a 
menace to her. Slav barbarism threatens to overwhelm us, 
they said. Our ignorance of real conditions in Russia made it 
easy for us to believe this. But the claim could be shown to 
be in large measure untrue. Without, however, entering into 
the merits of that question, it is sufficient to point out that on 
this point as on others the German statements were inconsis- 
tent. While professing a fear of Slav domination, they con- 
stantly expressed contempt for Russia's military strength. 
They had no reason to fear her if they were not afraid of her 

At another time it was France that blocked the way of this 
chosen people of God in their program of robbery and murder. 
Therefore, France must be punished, and in their phrase "bled 
white" beyond recovery. I will not insult your intelligence 
by answering this claim. 

Finally, in order that the world and posterity might be sat- 
isfied that she was a much abused and deeply wronged nation 
by all the rest of the world, Germany told us that the United 
States of America has been in recent years following a policy 
that blocked her way. "What do you people want with the 
Philippines?" is the question that was frequently asked of 
Americans in the days immediately following the Spanish war. 
Germany went as far as she dared during our Spanish war to 
impede our operations, and to secure the Philippine Islands 
for herself. She secured a foothold in the Samoan Islands, and 
attempted to secure one in Venezuela. 

In short, in seeking to attain her aim of world domination 
Germany has planned to absorb her small neighbors and de- 
stroy the British Empire, to inculcate propaganda favorable to 
herself in every country where her interests could be subserved 
thereby. She has established agencies for corrupting and un- 
dermining public opinion in every country of the globe where 
her plans could thereby be furthered. She has established 
through her emigrants in different countries groups strong 
enough to dominate opinion and action, or to try to set up in 
time a new state under German Government,, as in Brazil. She 


-Tias used the gains of every war and every diplomatic struggle 
as the basis for future aggression. She has permitted nothing 
to be done in world politics for twenty years without insisting 
on having her "share," whether she had an interest in the par- 
ticular matter or not. She shook her mailed fist at Morocco 
and rattled her sword at Manila. She has insidiously tried to 
destroy the industrial and commercial plants of other coun- 
tries, and undermine their economic and social organization. 
She has stirred up internal dissensions by bribery and the dis- 
semination of falsehoods, and has even gone so far as to stir 
up foreign enemies against countries which supposed she was 
their friend. 

Not only has the German autocracy thrown the shadow of 
its sinister designs across the path of the world's progress, but 
in its immediate methods of carrying out its purposes, it has 
crucified humanity and has violated every principle of kindli- 
ness and righteousness. Under the instruction of their mili- 
tary staff, the German army went into Belgium and northern 
France with the avowed purpose of so terrorizing the inhabi- 
tants that the world would be afraid to oppose the Germans. 
The belief on their part that such was human nature not only 
casts a reflection on their good sense, but makes one wonder 
whether they themselves are the kind of people they thought 
the rest of us were. In their conduct of the war they have 
defied and broken treaties and international law whenever and 
wherever it suited their purpose, and they stand today before 
the judgment bar of God and men as a people forsworn. They 
have violated every moral principle, in the commission of rob- 
bery, murder and rape. Neither age, sex nor condition has 
been a protection against their violence. Old men, women 
and even babes in arms — it made no difference, all must be 
trampled in the march of their glorious army. It would have 
been bad enough if such conduct had gone only so far as it 
could be defended reasonably on military grounds, if ever mili- 
tary grounds require such conduct; but no shadow of excuse 
that will stand the test of a moment's thought can be brought 
forward that will justify the treatment of Belgium and of 
northern France. The evidence is abundant and unimpeach- 


able. We need not seek the testimony of outsiders. We need 
rely only on the private diaries of German soldiers and officers, 
official proclamations and the photographs of the outraged, the 
dead and the dying. 

They have destroyed private property and desolated the 
country that they have occupied — even while prating about 
the sacredness of private property at sea ! No one who knows 
them and their program doubts for a moment that this is done 
in accordance with official plans for the very purpose of mak- 
ing it impossible for a desolated land to be their competitors in 
the future. "Anybody who knows the present state of things 
in Belgian industry will agree with me," says Deputy Beumer 
of the Prussian Diet, "that it must take at least some years — 
assuming that Belgium is independent at all — before Belgium 
can even think of competing with us in the world market. And 
anybody who has traveled, as I have done, through the occu- 
pied districts of France, will agree with me that so much dam- 
age has been done to industrial property that no one need be 
a prophet in order to say that it will take more than ten years 
before we need think of France as a competitor or of the re- 
establishment of French industry." Here, then, we have the 
real motive of the utter desolation which the Germans have 
wrought in the occupied territory. 

Again, contrary to international law and the custom of war, 
for generations, they have resorted to the practices of the Mid- 
dle Ages by imposing fines on conquered and occupied cities. 

They have violated the treaties of generations, the conduct 
of honorable soldiers, the law of nations, and the tenets of 
modern civilization by seizing hostages, making them respon- 
sible for the acts of other people, and murdering them to suit 
their pleasure. 

They have violated military law by killing unofficial civil- 
ians. They have violated military law, international law, their 
own specific pledges, and the law of humanity, by using civil- 
ians, including even women and children, as screens before 
their advancing soldiers in battle. They have outraged the 
conscience of the world, violated international agreement and 
set civilization back, by restoring slavery through the deporta- 


tion of defenseless inhabitants of conquered territory, tearing 
them from their families and transporting them to work in Ger- 
many or elsewhere. 

Through their piratical submarine attacks they have vio- 
lated international law, restored piracy and committed murder, 
even of neutrals on peaceful ships, innocent travelers, — men, 
women, girls, boys and babes in arms. 

They have gone back to the war practices of five centuries 
ago by their cowardly use of poison gases that inflict the most 
awful tortures, so that their opponents are more than justified 
in the moderate criticism which they have made, that the Ger- 
mans are "not clean fighters." 

They have been guilty of inhumanity and violating law by 
killing the wounded, by attacking hospitals and Red Cross am- 
bulances, and by attacking undefended cities. They have 
placed themselves in the same class with the fanatical Turks, 
by condoning the massacre of Armenians. Do you doubt the 
truth of these statements? Out of their own mouths again, 
judge them. 

I give a single instance out of many in each case. As to 
robbery : "After living about a week in a chateau near Liege, 
His Royal Highness, Prince Eitel Fritz, the Duke of Bruns- 
wick, and another nobleman of less importance, had all the 
dresses that could be found in the wardrobes belonging to the 
lady of the house and her daughters packed before their own 
eyes and sent to Germany." 

As to incendiarism : "The village was surrounded and the 
soldiers posted one yard apart so that no one could escape. 
Then the Uhlans set fire to the place one house after another. 
No man, woman or child could possibly escape. Any one try- 
ing to escape was shot." 

As to murder, here is one case: "All the villagers fled. 
The dead were all buried, numbering 60. Among them were 

many old men and women Three children were clasped 

in each others arms and had died thus." 

As to outrages on women and children, I dare not quote. 

As to killing the wounded, I need but recall the order of 
General Stenger : "No prisoners are to be taken. All prison- 
ers, whether wounded or not, must be slaughtered." 


As to sheltering themselves behind women and others im 
battle, hear Lieut. Eberlein: "I made them sit on chairs in 

the middle of the street The civilians whom they had. 

put in the same way in the middle of the street were killed by 
French bullets. I saw their dead bodies." 

As to killing prisoners, I have already quoted General 

As to being liars about their conduct, I need not quote. 
Read almost any statement of their military chiefs or of any 

As to the deportation of civilians, and the restoration of 
slavery on a scale unparalleled since the days of the Calmuck 
Tartars, read the statements of your own Ambassador Gerard 
and other Americans who were on the ground. 

Then as to the general character of their procedure in the 
conduct of the war, listen to the testimony of one of our own 
distinguished fellow-citizens, Mr. F. C. Walcott, one of Mr.. 
Hoover's staff in Belgium. 

A year ago I went to Poland to learn its facts con- 
cerning the remnant of a people that had been deci- 
mated by war. The country had been twice devas- 
tated. First the Russian army swept through it and 
then the Germans. Along the roadside from Warsaw 
to Pinsk, the present firing line 230 miles, near half a 
million people had died of hunger and cold. The way 
was strewn with their bones picked clean by the 
crows. With their usual thrift, the Germans were 
collecting the larger bones to be milled into fertilizer, 
but finger and toe bones lay on the ground with the 
mud covered and rain soaked clothing. 

Wicker baskets were scattered along the way — 
the basket in which the baby swings from the rafters 
in every peasant home. Every mile there were scores 
of them, each one telling a death. I started to count, 
but after a little I had to give it up, there were so 

That is the desolation one saw along the great 
road from Warsaw to Pinsk, mile after mile, more 
than two hundred miles. They told me a million 
people were made homeless in six weeks of the Ger- 


man drive in August and September, 1916. They 
told me four hundred thousand died on the way 

In the refugee camps, 300,000 survivors of the 
flight were gathered by the Germans, members of 
broken families. They were lodged in jerry-built 
barracks, scarcely water-proof, unlighted, unwarmed 
in the dead of winter. Their clothes, where the but- 
tons were lost, were sewed on. There were no con- 
veniences, they had not even been able to wash for 
weeks. Filth and infection from vermin were spread- 
ing. They were famished, their daily ration a cup of 

soup and a piece of bread as big as my fist 

In that situation, the German commander 

issued a proclamation. Every able-bodied Pole was 
bidden to Germany to work. If any refused, let no 
other Pole give him to eat, not so much as a mouthful, 
under penalty of German military law. 

This is the choice the German Government gives 
to the conquered Pole, to the husband and father of a 
starving family : Leave your family to die or survive 
as the case may be. Leave your country which is de- 
stroyed, to work in Germany for its further destruc- 
tion. If you are obstinate, we shall see that you surely 

Staying with his folk, he is doomed and they are 
not saved ; the father and husband can do nothing for 
them, he only adds to their risk and suffering. Leav- 
ing them, he will be cut off from his family, they may 
never hear from him again nor he from them. Ger- 
many will set him to work that a German workman 
may be released to fight against his own land and peo- 
ple. He shall be lodged in barracks, behind barbed 
wire entanglements, under armed guard. He shall be 
scantily fed and his earnings shall be taken from him 
to pay for his food. 

That is the choice which the German Government 
offers to a proud, sensitive, high-strung people. Death 
or slavery. 

When a Pole gave me that proclamation, I was 
boiling. But I had to restrain myself. I was prac- 
tically the only foreign civilian in the country and I 
wanted to get food to the people. That was what I 
was there for and I must not for any cause jeopardize 


the undertaking. I asked Governor General von 
Beseler, "Can this be true?" 

"Really, I cannot say," he replied, "I have signed 
so many proclamations ; ask General von Kries." 

So I asked General von Kries. "General, this is a 
civilized people. Can this be true?" 

"Yes," he said, "it is true" — with an air of adding. 
Why not? 

I dared not trust myself to speak ; I turned to go. 
"Wait," he said. And he explained to me how Ger- 
many, official Germany, regards the state of subject 

This, then, men and women of America, is, so far, the story. 
Let us turn back, quietly still, and read a little history. 

The writings of many Germans make it clear that the an- 
ticipated success in the present war was to be a basis for future 
action against ourselves. Sixteen years ago a professor of 
history in the Royal Academy in Posen and the Academy 
in Berlin, Dr. Hotsch, wrote: "The most dangerous foe of 
Germany in this generation will prove to be the United 
States." Lieut. Edelscheim wrote, in 1901 : "Operations against 
the United States of North America must be entirely different. 
With that country in particular political friction manifest in 
commercial aims has not been lacking in recent years, and has 
until now been removed chiefly through acquiescence on our 
part. However, as this submission has its limit, the question 
arises as to what means we can develop to carry out our pur- 
pose with force in order to combat the encroachments of the 
United States upon our interests If the German invad- 
ing force were equipped and ready for transporting the mo- 
ment the battle fleet is dispatched under average conditions, 
these corps can begin operations on American soil within at 

least four weeks The United States at this time is not 

in a position to oppose our troops with an army of equal rank. 

As a matter of fact, Germany is the only great power 

which is in a position to conquer the United States." 

Still another writer, in 1897, expressed the opinion that 
"the Monroe doctrine lacks as yet a justification in the unified 


character of the people" ! Still another tells us : "It is there- 
fore the duty of every one who loves languages to see that the 
future language spoken in America shall be German." 

In 1903 Vollert wrote : "From all this it appears that the 

Monroe doctrine cannot be justified And so it remains 

only what we Europeans almost universally consider it, an 
impertinence." So distinguished an authority as the econo- 
mist Schmoller wrote some years ago : "We most desire that 
at any cost a German country containing some 20 or 30 million 

Germans may grow up in the coming century in Brazil 

Unless our connection with Brazil is always secured by ships 
of war, and unless Germany is able to exercise pressure there 
our development is threatened." 

Another professor of political economy (Schulze-Gaever- 
nitz) wrote in 1898: "The more Germany is condemned to 
an attitude of peaceful resistance toward the United States, 
the more emphatically must she defend her interests in Central 
and South America where she today occupies an authoritative 

position For this purpose we need a fleet capable not 

only of coping with the miserable forces of South American 
states but powerful enough if the need should arise to cause 
Americans to think twice before making any attempt to apply 
an economic Monroe doctrine in South America. Still again, 
we are told by another that it depends on the political situation 
when Germany shall take possession of a harbor in Venezuela. 
Before doing so, however, this writer tells his fellow-country- 
men that they should determine first whether they are to ac- 
quiesce in the American order of "hands off in South America." 

In 1904 Friedrich Lange asserted that all the republics of 
South America would accept the advice of the German Govern- 
ment and listen to reason, either voluntarily or under coercion, 
while two years later another wrote that not only North Amer- 
ica but the whole of America must become perhaps the strong- 
est fortress of the Germanic races. This is one of the writers 
who advocated the sending of people of non-Germanic blood 
now living in South America to Africa so as to have "a free 
South America for those of Germanic blood." This was twelve 
years ago. At about the same time another aspirant for his 


country's expansion told the world that Germany would take 
under her protection the republics of Argentina, Chile, Uru- 
guay and Paraguay, and other parts of South America where 
Germans had settled predominantly. 

Still again, in 1915, Professor Hettner of Heidelberg told 
his countrymen that in treating with America German public 
opinion was to some extent lacking in courage. "J^st because 
the United States has set up the Monroe doctrine to exclude 
Europeans from America it does not follow that we should 
acquiesce in that doctrine." 

Throwing a flood of light on the opinions which I have 
quoted concerning the attitude of Germany towards the United 
States, is the story told by Major N. A. Bailey and published 
in the New York Tribune, August 11, 1915. It is as follows: 
"At the close of the Spanish-American War, I was returning 
on the Santee — I think it was — from Santiago, Cuba, to Mon- 

tauk Point On board there was a military attache from 

Germany, Count von Goetzen, a personal friend of the Kaiser. 
Apropos of a discussion between Count von Goetzen and my- 
self on the friction between Admiral Dewey and the German 
Admiral at Manila, von Goetzen said to me: 'About 15 years 
from now my country will start her great war. She will be in 
Paris in about two months after the commencement of hostil- 
ities. Her move on Paris will be but a step to her real object 
— the crushing of England. Everything will move like clock- 
work. We will be prepared and others will not be prepared. 
I speak of this because of the connection which it will have 
with your own country. Some months after we finish our 
work in Europe we will take New York and probably Wash- 
ington and hold them for some time. We will put your coun- 
try in its place with reference to Germany. We do not pur- 
pose to take any of your territory, but we do intend to take a 
billion or more dollars from New York and other places. The 
Monroe doctrine will be taken charge of by us, as we will 
then have put you in your place, and we will take charge of 
South America, as far as we want to.' " 

Finally, we have to bear in mind the remark of the gentle- 
man who has several times proclaimed that he took his stand 


beside his allies in shining armor, the Emperor himself. Am- 
bassador Gerard tells us that in conversation with him the 
Emperor repeatedly said : "America had better look out after 
this war," and "I shall stand no nonsense from America after 
the War." 

The sentiments that have been described above have come 
to the surface on several occasions in the history of the past 
two decades. The story of the attitude and interference of the 
German Admiral Diedrichs with the operations of Admiral 
Dewey and his attempt, without success, to persuade the Brit- 
ish Admiral to take the same view, are well known. Yet 
Chancellor von Bulow, speaking in the Reichstag in 1899 evi- 
dently approved the truculent attitude of his Admiral. He 
said among other things, that the need of Germany for coaling 
stations was most clearly indicated at the time of the Spanish- 
American war, and that the introduction in the Reichstag of a 
bill for the increase of the German navy was justified by the 
occurrences of the Spanish-American war, the disturbances in 
Samoa and the war in South Africa. 

In connection with the Spanish war, not only did the Ger- 
man Admiral by his actions show contempt for the American 
fleet, but he gave indirect aid to our enemy ; he interfered as far 
as he dared in an obstructive way in the operations of Dewey's 
fleet, and tried the patience of our Admiral almost to the break- 
ing point. Later on the same commander in the same cruiser, 
the Panther, slipped into a harbor of Venezuela and en- 
deavored to get a foothold there. German influence has been 
thrown against the construction and the control of the Panama 
Canal by ourselves and against the purchase by us of the 
Danish West India Islands. 

In spite of this fearful indictment, in spite of this long series 
of truculent acts against every people in the world who were 
imagined by German leaders to stand in their way, we still 
find some of our people asking why we went into the war ! We 
went in for a variety of reasons. 

In the first place, we were called on as one of the leaders 
of humanity to take a stand in defense of civilization, right- 
eousness and law. When our forefathers published the Decla- 


ration of Independence they said that among other reasons for 
issuing their statement was a decent respect for the opinions 
of mankind. No such respect has been shown by the German 
Government in this war, or the incidents that preceded it. Has 
a man no duty when he sees his neighbor beaten, robbed or 
murdered? Has a people, a country, a nation no duty to act 
when it sees the principles for which it stands trampled to the 
earth; and its neighbors maltreated, robbed and murdered? 
Has a nation no duty, nay, has a nation no interest to protect, 
when it sees principles and practices antagonistic to its own ex- 
istence established in a neighboring community? The answer 
is given in our own Declaration of Independence when the 
writers said that one of the causes for rebelling was the 
attempt of the king of Great Britain to establish in a neighbor- 
ing province a government that would be inimical to our own. 
Every principle and precept of humanity, the duty to defend 
righteousness and law among nations, every interest involved 
in the maintenance of our own democratic form of govern- 
ment, called us to join in this war. 

Again, were we to stand apart when the moral sense of the 
world was outraged by the murder and oppression of the peo- 
ple of Belgium and northern France? What defense can a 
man or a nation offer if he stands passive and silently acquies- 
ces in such deeds as the massacre of the Armenians, the Ser- 
bians and the Poles, and the enslavement of the Belgians? Is 
it worthy of a free people to refuse to resent such things as the 
murder of Edith Cavell, or Captain Fryatt, or the innocent 
travelers on the Lusitania? 

We said we went to war with Spain to free the people of 
Cuba from tyranny and misery and give them an opportunity 
to live as freemen. That is a humanitarian motive. Did we 
lie? If we did not, then such a motive justifies our entry into 
this war. 

But there are more important reasons for our intervention. 
Our pride and national dignity have been insulted by the 
system of propaganda which has undertaken to corrupt and 
undermine our public opinion, to falsify and to destroy our 
political and moral ideals, to interfere with our industry and 


trade by the destruction, at the risk of life, of industrial and 
other establishments. As a far-seeing people we are called 
on to interpose ourselves to prevent the growth of an auto- 
cratic government to a point of strength where at its leisure 
and pleasure it can defy that Monroe doctrine which we have 
regarded as one of the greatest safeguards of liberty in the 
western hemisphere. 

But even more specifically : We were insultingly told that 
we must not sell munitions of war. Apparently it was the high 
prerogative of the German nation to do this to any belligerent, 
but we might not do it if it injured or even displeased the 
German autocracy. We patiently pleaded our cause, showing 
the reasons for our action. The German Government tried to 
stir up internal sentiment against us. She then issued her 
edicts about shipping. We protested against attacks on neutral 
ships by submarines and particularly against the sinking of 
neutral vessels or of any vessel in ways contrary to maritime 
international law endangering the lives of the crew and pas- 
sengers. Pretending to acquiesce, the German Government 
waited for an opportune time, when she had increased the 
number of her submarines, and then defied the request and the 
wish of the United States. She sent to an untimely death inno- 
cent children and women as well as men, and in too many 
instances her submarine commanders sank vessels in such a 
way as to make it almost impossible for passengers or crew 
to survive. "Sink them so that not a trace will be left behind" 
seems to have been the order of other representatives of the 
German Government than the fool who spoke for it in Buenos 
Aires. "Public policy prompted by the emotions is stupidity. 
Humanitarian dreams are imbecility. Diplomatic charity be- 
gins at home. Statesmanship is business. Right and wrong 
are notions indispensable in private life. The German people 
are always right because they number 87,000,000 souls." 

But why prolong the horrible story? If in the face of the 
evidence easily accessible to all, and only part of which I have 
touched upon, there is any one among us who still is in doubt 
about the wisdom and necessity of our entering the war, then 
he would not listen if the country were covered with the in- 


vaders and we were experiencing the same ruthlessness that 
has befallen the people of Belgium, Serbia, Poland, Armenia 
and France. If any one now does not believe that it has been 
the set purpose of the imperial German Government to domi- 
nate the earth, to destroy democracy and establish autocracy, 
then he too must be one of those 87 million German people 
who are always right because they are German. 

Therefore, fellow-citizens, in going to Europe to fight side 
by side with glorious Britain, heroic France and courageous 
Italy, we are simply defending our own shores, our own lives, 
our own families. For it is as clear as the sunlight that if 
German autocracy succeeds in establishing its aims on the con- 
tinent of Europe, the Republic of America will be the next 
victim. And if we had not undertaken to stem the rising tide 
of slavery and terror on the other side of the Atlantic we would 
have found it necessary to do it on this side alone. It would 
not have been only the burning of New York, or Boston, or 
Washington, or Charleston ; it would not have been only the 
imposition of fines and indemnities of billions of dollars; it 
would not have meant merely the destruction of our property 
and the robbery of our sustenance ; it would have meant the 
dishonor or the death, or both, of those who are dear to us; 
it would have meant the destruction of that great national 
spirit and national organization which has been established 
and cemented by the blood of our fathers ; it would have meant 
the turning back of the liberty of the individual and the world 
to the conditions of five centuries ago ; it would have meant the 
blotting out of that spirit of freedom, that spirit of indepen- 
dence, that spirit of duty, that spirit of high idealism, which 
we like to characterize as American ; it would have meant that 
instead of America's being, as she always has been, the hope 
of the world, she would take her place among the beaten and 
degraded and enslaved nations under the heel of an emperor 
who claims to represent God, and whose shining armor, no 
longer shining, but begrimed with the blood of the innocent 
and the weak, is still waving his sword in defiance of law and 
order and right. 


Think about these things. Go home, look at your barns, 
and remember that if "This Thing" comes to our shores it will 
be well for you to burn them before the invader does. Look at 
your crops and your trees. If he reaches our shores cut them 
down and burn them. It will be better to do that than to let 
them fall into his hands. Look at your wife and your daugh- 
ters, and be ready to follow the example of Virginius, in an- 
cient Rome. For it were better that they were dead. Think 
of the liberty you have enjoyed, and choose to lie dead rather 
than give it up. Think of the country of which you are a part 
and which your fathers and yourself have helped to build up, 
and make up your mind to lay it desolate in universal ruin 
according to your own way, because if you do not and are 
beaten it will be done in the invader's way. 

To prevent these things is our task. "To such a task," in 
the words of our great President, "we can dedicate our lives 
and our fortunes, everything that we are, and everything 
that we have, with the pride of those who know that the day 
has come when America is privileged to spend her blood and 
her might for the principles that gave her birth and happiness 
and the peace which she has treasured. God helping her, she 
can do no other." 

I see a vision! "I see a drumhead court-martial. ^ I see an 
English woman, tall, sweet-faced and pale. I see her calm 

under the lash of words of torment I see her led away. 

I see her blindfolded as six men with rifles step away. 

I see the garments torn, exposing her left breast so that they 
will need no other white mark to reach her heart. I hear a 
command. I hear a report. A form crumples into a grave, and 
a soul takes flight to the God that gave it." 

But wait. My eye turns back to our own land. A mes- 
senger boy with a thin yellow envelope in his hand has just 
entered a quiet cottage in central Illinois. The messenger 
leaves. The father and mother sit alone dry eyed and still. 
By and by the woman, rising, goes to her husband and taking 
one lapel of his coat in each hand she shakes him fiercely, and 

^From "The Cross of Gold," by C. F. Johnson, Twin Falls, Idaho. 


says : "John, they have killed my boy in France, and I want 
you to DO SOMETHING." So when 500,000 more or less 
are murdered in France, and parents begin to go all over the 
nation saying "They have killed my boy in France, won't you, 
and you, and you, do something?" we will plow, and dig, and 
mine, and nail, and work, and think, and pray and fight. And 
still the call will ring in our ears : They've killed my boy in 
France; won't you do something? and, by the Eternal God, 
we will!